As another financial year comes to an end for Australia and New Zealand (government), let’s review some of the accounting trends that has driven the industry:
Growing Digital Economy
Australia’s digital economy is growing at a rapid pace and has contributed $79 billion or 5.1 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) this year, according to Deloitte Access Economics. In 2011, Deloitte’s The Connected Continent report states that the $50 billion figure would grow to $70 billion by 2016. Now, it has significantly reached past that mark and forecasted to continuously grow, hitting $139 billion or 7.3 per cent of GDP by 2020. This growth has spurred the transformation of businesses and the economy.
Ric Simes of Deloitte claims it was difficult to put a permanent definition on what counted as the digital economy, but the report was analysing the role of communications and computing power in business and the broader economy. Deloitte believes that the rise in mobile access, increased use of cloud, data analytics, and machine-to-machine technologies in organisations, or basically the SMAC (social, mobile, analytics, and cloud) technologies caused this growth.
Moving to the Cloud
The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) encourages small firms to take advantage of the competitive market and adopt cloud technology this financial year. According to AAT chief executive Stuart Norman, the accounting software market has become increasingly competitive, resulting in falling prices. This, he said, combined with the generous small business tax concessions in last month’s federal budget, provides the perfect environment for businesses to upgrade their accounting software.
David Hill, national managing partner for Deloitte Private, also attested to the benefits of cloud accounting like real-time access to data and collaboration with clients. “The cloud gives clients the ability to access their data from anywhere and at any time. Such solutions also provide us with the opportunity to regularly connect with our clients and offer timely insights to create and deliver value,” he said.
Offshoring and Outsourcing
Small and big firms alike have been outsourcing compliance and bookkeeping tasks to offshore countries. Now that tools with collaborative nature are made available, outsourcing is becoming an attractive trend to growing companies planning to expand their service offerings. As the industry is becoming more and more competitive, accounting professionals are also struggling to keep up with the skills demanded by clients in order to remain relevant.
Adrian Batty of Deloitte Private affirms that outsourcing and offshoring have redefined what skills firms in Australia look for when building their teams. “You’ve got to actually look more at the marketplace that you’re servicing and actually making sure that as accounting professionals you are building the skill sets, undertaking the courses and learning the sorts of things that allow you to be more attractive to a marketplace,” he said.
It’s the end of another financial year and the start of a new one, and growing firms can take advantage of these major opportunities for the continual improvement of their accounting processes.
The Outsourced Accountant supports Australian and New Zealand accounting firms by helping them understand and implement outsourcing solutions to help them become more proactive and truly add value to their clients. If you want to know more about outsourcing, call us at 1300 896 522, and download our e-book.